Soul Calibur II Xbox Review

TST38BPN
Anyone who had the lovely Sega Dreamcast that still sits lovingly next to my TV will have played or at least heard of the mighty Soul Calibur game. Using a weapon system instead of the many traditional punch and kicking fighting games it was a nice refreshing change from the hand to hand combat.

Anyone who had the lovely Sega Dreamcast that still sits lovingly next to my TV will have played or at least heard of the mighty Soul Calibur game. Using a weapon system instead of the many traditional punch and kicking fighting games it was a nice refreshing change from the hand to hand combat.

At the time Dead or Alive 2 was also released for the Dreamcast and for me it was extremely impressive graphically and style wise. When running another site (remember this was before Xbox released) I gave Dead or Alive 2 a higher score then Soul Calibur so I am particularly interested to see how Dead or Alive 3 will stand against the just released Soul Calibur 2!

TST38ARH
This is quite a challenge for Soul Calibur as it already has a problem that DOA3 didn’t have. That is the multi-platform element. Being on 3 consoles where as DOA3 was an Xbox exclusive has proven to not help the games chances and we see this quite clearly in the graphical quality. You know what I am like about my texture quality and in this game quite frankly it is very disappointing. The polygon use isn’t bad although the characters faces look at times a little lack lustre but it has one saving grace and that is the fantasy surroundings of the gaming areas.

If it wasn’t for the environments which again are a little low detailed at times, you would be really annoyed at the use of the Xbox GPU, but the overall presentation really is amazing and it is a shame that us Xbox users aren’t being treated to the visual fest this game really deserves. Just like the original there are plenty of lighting effects when you wave your trusty weapon about and this really does add to the graphical charm, just I wish this port had more time spent on a few areas to make this game at least on par with DOA3, but it hasn’t come close.

Another factor is evolution of the gameplay which is also important for this game when you consider DOA3 having quite a few new tricks up its sleeve. Again this is something that seems to be overlooked.

TST38B15
There are literally oodles of things to unlock including many game modes, but where the fighting is concerned it is always a flat area with no obstacles like ice, water, rocks or anything which makes for a rather dull move around experience.

Of the available modes in the Weapons Master Mode which is set out a little like a story of which you journey completing challenges in different circumstances that make it a little bit more of a learning curve experience meaning you can learn as you go through some new tricks. This is where you unlock most of the extras in this game including additional gaming areas, weapons, characters and some other little gubbins to keep you amused. This is one area of the game you can definitely say hand on heart that time has been well spent.

The actual fighting is very easy to pull off, maybe a little too easy as the button bashers amongst us will find it very easy just to press as many buttons as quickly as possible to find that the more seasoned and accurate button presser is quickly obliterated in no time at all. This lies down to the poor guard system in place mainly as the reversals have to be so perfectly timed that by the time you have got it right you have lost most of your health. Also there are far too many attacks that can get you when you have fallen. I have been in a battle against the CPU where once I was on the floor I just couldn’t get up.

TST38B60
One truly inspirational toe tingling thing I love about this game is the sound and music. The music is absolutely spot on for a game like this, you could quite happily sit and listen to the music on its own. The sounds all give great emphasis on the hit impacts and blocks and if that isn’t enough before a bout of fighting hear a tremendously loud sound as your players are introduced. All makes for an interesting title indeed.

So here we are back to the DOA3 and SC2 question. Well for me Dead or Alive 3 is still the champ easily utilising the graphical power, with such a good fighting system with a lot of new ideas where Soul Calibur 2 has been much more sticking on the safe side introducing nothing really new in the arena which has annoyed me the more and more I think about.

Conclusion

SoulCalibur5
A great fighting title overshadowed by the fact its had to be ported onto three consoles. If you loved the original you will adore the sequel, just don’t expect anything excitingly new to the game as the emphasis is just more of the same.

Rating: 4 / 5